There are few homes in Hong Kong that have as rich of a history as Joyce Lee’s. Hidden amidst the trees in Midlevels, the colonial-style house was originally built in 1923, with tell-tale characteristics including lofty ceilings, a spacious rooftop and terrace and tall windows that flood the house with natural light. The residence was constructed by a shipping engineer, and, at one point in time, was allegedly even used as a school. Beyond these traditional aesthetics and the house’s storied history, Joyce has modernised the space and made it her own with lively additions that speak to her family and her career as one of Hong Kong’s most successful cantopop singers.
Exhibit A: the stunning grand piano resting in a stately corner of her living room. “It’s my favourite space. When I initially saw this house, the first thing I envisioned was where my future grand piano would be.” Joyce explains. “We’ve had some pretty epic performances here.” Beside the piano is a white Barcelona chair gifted to Joyce by a friend, while lengthy windows offer a glimpse of the picturesque city view which stands in stark contrast to the vast expanse of foliage that directly surrounds the house. “Nature is literally at our doorstep”, she laughs. “We’ve had surprise visits from porcupines, wild boars, civet cats, butterflies, cockatoos and many other little creatures.”
Green accents from the outdoors continue inside, punctuating across the space in different forms. The plush green sofa by Indigo Living is replete with patterned tropical pillows, while potted plants and flowers are dotted throughout, bringing forth bursts of life and freshness. A framed portrait of Audrey Hepburn by artist Clifton Karhu perhaps best encapsulates the sentiment of the home: colourful and eclectic, Hepburn is a vision of timeless elegance with a tropical twist, with exotic flora and fauna collaged atop her head. “With these colours and different cultural elements in our home, it’s all at once a lively yet relaxed home for everyone to enjoy”, notes Joyce.
The wall partitions off into an entrance way that leads into the dining room, which Joyce fondly refers to as the “moon room”. Its nickname derives from the spherical objects spaced throughout, including the circular dining table, large round mirrors and a large ring-shaped sculpture. Just in front is a bar area which houses the family’s expansive alcohol collection, including a bottle of prized Hibiki alongside other whiskeys and gins.
While the ground floor is where Joyce loves to entertain, the first floor of the 2-storey house is where Joyce and her family go to relax and wind down. The master bedroom is wide and spacious, with a custom bed frame holding two double bed mattresses. “We always love having the kids tussle around and watch movies in bed together”, smiles Joyce. Floor-to-ceiling windows fill the room with sunlight and open out to a generous balcony, while a sizeable walk-in-closet gives Joyce ample space to organise her wardrobe and accessories.
And for Joyce’s three rambunctious boys, the house is an adventurer’s paradise, jam-packed with delights and surprises at every corner. A mini trampoline, darts and indoor and outdoor basketball nets are complemented with a home gym with standing bikes, an outdoor pool and a larger trampoline. To unwind after a day of activities, Joyce turns to her massage chair, hammocks and jacuzzi.
The eclectic arrangement of sports paraphernalia and other quirky interior accents ground the home from its colonial style past into the present with Joyce, her kids and her husband. Touches of her husband’s Hawaiian heritage are peppered throughout, from the Hawaiian printed pillows and tropical plants to images of soft blue waves breaking over the Kahala reef. “Our vision was quite simple”, Joyce says of her home. “It had to be bright, welcoming and comfortable.” And to this end, her home was a most definite success.
Photography: Eugene Chan
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Hair Stylist: Jun Leung
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CreditPhotography: Eugene Chan